Sunday, May 16, 2004

Recollections of the desegregation of Staunton schools

The Staunton paper has this report ("Change slow reaching Valley," 5/16/04) on the desegregation of public schools in the Staunton area, which includes the following regarding the schools in Augusta County:

In all, it took a decade before local school systems were challenged to comply with Brown and subsequent court rulings.

In April 1964, 36 residents petitioned the Augusta County School Board to end segregation in county schools. Only in February 1966, after a federal court order, did the school board close the black schools.

"It was not until they knew there was no choice," that school systems fully integrated, said Thelma Newman, vice president of the NAACP's Staunton branch.

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